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Proposed historic overlay causes landowner problems

Zoning laws can cause great headaches if a landowner does not properly deal with them in a timely manner. Of course, in some cases, maintaining the right to do what you want with your own property is a fight in and of itself - even when you think you've prepared properly. This struggle recently came into focus for a Phoenix landowner after the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission moved to rezone a structure with a historic preservation zoning overlay.

The issue has two understandable sides, and there is no clear "right" party. On the side of the historic preservationists, the building in question is one of only about 20 buildings built in the 19th century that are still standing in Phoenix. It is reasonable to see how that lends the structure a certain degree of innate value, even though the building itself is in exceptionally poor repair.

Contrastingly, the landowner, who now wishes to develop or sell the property, contends that he performed all the necessary due diligence when he purchased the lot years ago, but the building was not listed as historic because of a clerical error. Furthermore, several other similar structures with similar historic value have already been demolished. He understandably believes that he is being unfairly punished for someone else's mistake, which may end up discouraging potential buyers of the property.

This is an excellent illustration of exactly why it is so important to have and experienced, detail-oriented attorney assist with any real estate transaction. These kinds of issues can arise when you least expect them to, and may end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost opportunity. The more professional guidance you have throughout a transaction, the greater your options for fair resolution if an issue does arise.

Source: The Downtown Devil, "Local home gets historic zoning despite concerns," Joe Gilmore, accessed May 05, 2017

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